“Some people say forgive and forget. Nah, I don’t know. I say forget about forgiving and just accept. And… get the hell out of town.”
As Martin Blank rolled into town there was a sense of change. He’d clearly changed, but his perception of everyone else remained the same. The reality of it is, we all change, yet we’re left with the impressions of the last known remnants of those we used to know.
It has been nearly a decade, five LPs, and countless single releases since I first stumbled into the world of Jared Putnam’s The March Divide. It is no secret Jared Putnam of The March Divide works hard; I mean really hard. Releasing his 5th full-length record earlier this year, cinq marks not just another milestone for the Fort Worth, Texas-based artist, but a profound, albeit subtly nuanced, shift in his musical style.
Throughout the career of The March Divide a few things have remained constant: the reliability for Putnam to continue making music, the exponential elevation his music has when seen live, the unwavering post-punk/acoustic full-bodied experience, and it all sounds better on vinyl. cinq reaffirms The March Divide’s sound many have come to love over the years while it simultaneously changes lanes and shifts Putnam into a new position musically.
Riding in on a pop front (“Funk That You’re In”) and exiting on a reflective, sobering appreciation (“I Believe”), cinq is Putnam staring out the window at a once-bustling world, noticing empty streets and being forced to confront his very real thoughts and emotions. New and old fans alike will find immediate reward in the latest release. The comfort of his anchored post-punk acoustic style confidently strides along while intermingling harmonica solos and just enough deviation to keep each track feeling fresh (even if you heard them when released as individual singles). However, cinq sets itself apart with the level in which we find TMD songwriting like we’ve not seen before (looking at you “I Don’t Wanna Die Young”). Richly honest, a collective of songs compiled over the pandemic, the ten-track record (I don’t know how many times I can stress record, as in, buy this in physical medium) pushes Putnam inward, creating a tapestry of sincere lyricism, thriving in an acoustic, catchy assembly that is undeniably the best we’ve heard from The March Divide yet.
It is holding the album art while the colored vinyl spins atop the plate where the Blank moment hits. The reflection on everything at once; the pandemic, those we used to know and how they still exist in our minds, where we’ve come in life, and how, somehow, we’re going to be alright hits. The March Divide hasn’t reached a forgiveness, it’s found a way to get the hell out of town when so many of us feel, or may be, stuck. Like the musical planets aligning over Texas, The March Divide has come into cinq.